Section 105. (House of Representatives) Form of Proposals and Procedure for Adoption. - Proposals to amend or revise the Constitution shall be by resolution which may be filed at any time by any Member. The adoption of resolutions proposing amendments to or revision of the Constitution shall follow the procedure for the enactment of bills.With the removal of the second sentence above, the opposite becomes true -- that House Resolutions proposing changes to the Constitution will no longer seek the concurrence of the Senate before being sent to the Comelec for ratification at Plebiscite.
Art Defensor, the vice chairman of the House Committee on Rules said the House was doing away with its own Rule that Resolutions proposing amendments to the Constitution have to be sent to the Senate for its concurrence. Rep. Art Defensor said in no unmistakeable terms that this move of the House "does away" with the need for the Senate to concur in any future House Resolution proposing Constitutional amendments before it is sent for Plebiscite to the Comelec. The House has taken the position, he says, that it can unilaterally propose amendments to the Constitution as long as it is upon a vote of three fourths of all the Members of the Congress.
The philosophy was explained by Rep Edcel Lagman. The Legislative Power is distinct from the power to propose amendments to the Constitution which is called the Constituent Power. Ergo, the House need not follow the same procedure in the exercise of its "Constituent Power" as when it exercises "Legislative Power."
Section 3. When proposing amendments to the Constitution, Members of Congress act, not as representatives and/or Senators, but as component elements of a constituent assembly exercising constituent power which is separate and distinct from legislative power.There is no doubt that the House has the power to decide upon its own Rules in the exercise of its Constituent Power. But does the House have the power to deprive ANY Member of the Congress of his or her right to exercise the Constituent Power expressly granted by the Constitution to Congress and its Members?
Clearly not. So how can the New House Rule state that the House may propose changes to the Constitution while excluding a little less than 10% of all the Members of the Congress from the proceedings by not seeking their concurrence upon it?
Since the resolution to convene a Constituent Assembly must be passed by a three fourths majority of ALL the Members of the Congress, ALL the Members of the Congress ought to have the opportunity to debate, deliberate, and vote upon any proposed change to the Constitution.
Yet the House Rule in Section 105 was amended last night procedurally denying ALL Senators of their vote in any exercise of the Constituent power of the Congress and ALL its Members.
Yet by deliberate design and by the proclamation of its very architects, the new House Rule adopted tonight, disenfranchises 24 out of the 260 Members of the Congress of their Constituent Power. How a Constituent Assembly comes to be convened is now the crux of the matter.
WHICH COMES FIRST? the Con-Ass or the House Resolution that convenes it? Obviously the latter. Who votes to approve a House Resolution? Is it ALL the Members of the Congress? No! It is ALL the Members of the Lower House. So how in the world can a House Resolution propose changes to the charter upon a vote of three fourths of ALL the Members of Congress when 24 out of 260 of them will not be polled for their vote, by House Rule?!
EQUAL PROTECTION VIOLATED? Though the numbers of the Senators is small, those numbers could still change any outcome. I think this shows that the new House Rule violates the implicit principles of One Man One Vote and Equal Protection as they apply to the exercise of the Constituent Power of all the Members of the Congress.
CAN A HOUSE RESOLUTION CONVENE THE CONGRESS INTO A CON-ASS? The New House Rules say that the Congress can convene itself into a Constituent Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of ALL its Members. I agree. But it is further claimed that a mere House Resolution can convene the Congress into a Constituent Assembly. I disagree.
Who votes to approve a House Resolution? Is it ALL the Members of the Congress? No! It is all the Members of the Lower House. So how CAN a mere House Resolution propose changes to the charter upon a vote of three fourths of ALL the Members of Congress when 24 out of 260 of them will not be polled in approving the House Resolution. This is a fundamentally fatal legal and Constitutional flaw in the New House Rules, in my opinion which even ignores the mathematical fact that though the numbers of the Senators is small, their numbers could still change any outcome, whether voting separately or voting jointly with the Lower House.
The new House Rule is void ab initio for not including ALL the Members of the Congress in exercising constituent power.
Plain readings of the New House Rules on Con-Ass
Rule I Section 1. Any amendment to or revision of the Constitution may be proposed by the Congress upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members.
Rule I Section 2. The Congress may convene a Constituent Assembly upon a vote of three fourths of ALL its Members.
ELEMENTARY: Only Members of the Lower House may deliberate and vote upon any House Resolution, therefore SOME Members of the Congress, 24 out of 260 of them to be exact, are excluded from voting on any House Resolution.
ERGO, a House Resolution, even if approved unanimously by the House Members, cannot convene a Con-Ass because it is not a VOTE among ALL the Members of the Congress, but a vote among all the members of the Lower House. Even if the vote on a House Resolution coincidentally equals three fourths of all the members of the Congress, it is not a vote among ALL the Members of the Congress.
Even if such a vote obeys the three fourths majority Rule, it violates the more fundamental principle of Constitutional Authority to undertake a certain Act.
Since a vote to approve any House Resolution to exercise constituent power is not a vote by ALL the Members of the Congress, it is unconstitutional and violates the House’s own New Rule in Rule I Section 2.